15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Makin Island ARG enhance bilateral partnership in Indo-Pacific

SOUTH CHINA SEA -- Courtesy Story 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked aboard the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group conducted flight-training operations near Singapore within international waters, April 8.

During these operations, U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning IIs assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164, 15th MEU also conducted joint training with F-15SG and F-16D multi-role fighter jets from the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

“It’s a professional privilege to work and fly with our longstanding partners from the Republic of Singapore while operating in the southern reaches of the South China Sea,” Maj. Benjamin Boera, F-35B Detachment future operations officer.

“Flying alongside pilots with the RSAF is a great experience for us all and helps further promote the F-35B’s 5th-generation capabilities, while reinforcing our support and commitment to all partner nations in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Conducting maritime-based engagements with partner nations provides a unique capability to learn and understand each partner’s skills, prepare for real-world operations and further strengthen the longstanding relationships between countries and militaries.

Get Out The Way Photo by Cpl. Patrick Crosley

"These operations highlight both the capabilities of our fifth generation aircraft and our interoperability with the Republic of Singapore, a deeply valued partner," said Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7. "The F-35B has been a game-changer in this theater, and I'm grateful for the flexibility and lethality that the entire USS Makin Island/15th MEU team provides our combatant commanders as we contribute to security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region."

The Makin Island ARG and embarked 15th MEU is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.